Tomorrow, millions of Americans will sit down to tables brimming with turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, pumpkin pie and all the trimmings that make Thanksgiving dinner special. In addition to enjoying a wonderful meal, the focus will be on giving thanks for family, friends and other fundamentals that mean so much. And rightly so.
But for those who choose to become entrepreneurs or career changers later in life, Thanksgiving brings other, secondary reasons to be thankful. Here are five of them:
1. We’re living longer and better. That means more “quality” years to start a business or a non-profit (or both).
2. We have more resources to help us. SCORE, AARP and U.S. Small Business Administration are among the growing number of organizations offering training and information specifically for older entrepreneurs.
3. We have more options to work remotely. After years in a traditional, 9-to-5 job, many people want more work autonomy, a flexible schedule and/or an escape from office politics. Today, it’s easier to achieve these goals because of the increase in online businesses and other e-work opportunities generated by technology.
4. Our inventions have value. The work of 40-and-older inventors accounts for some of society’s greatest contributions. Here’s a blog post that recounts some of them.
5. Life experience is on our side. People who have endured life’s ups and downs – and have been on the receiving end of both good and poor customer service — can channel that experience to make themselves better business owners.
While there’s never been a better time to be a late blooming entrepreneur or career changer, both paths require hard work. On that note, I hope you’ll give yourself a break on Thursday. And take the day off.
Instead, get away from the computer (at least for a while). Eat too much. Watch football. Go for a walk. Spend time with family and friends. That’s what I plan to do.